Tevez granted leave as City are held

BY foxsports • February 14, 2010

Tevez was missing on Saturday evening as Manchester City were held to a 1-1 draw at Eastlands by Tony Pulis' men in the FA Cup fifth round, and Mancini is already planning without his star striker for the midweek match after he returned home for family reasons. "I don't think Carlos will be here," said Mancini. "Hopefully he will be back in three days but that would mean he couldn't play on Tuesday." City missed Tevez's industry as they failed to take advantage of a defensive calamity by Ryan Shawcross - who picked the worst possible time to make such an horrific lapse as England coach Fabio Capello was in the stands - which presented Shaun Wright-Phillips with a simple tap-in. Instead, they were undone by one of Rory Delap's famous long throws as Ricardo Fuller powered home with Shay Given rooted to his line. "Shay couldn't have saved that," said Mancini. "The problem was that our starting positions were bad. Stoke ended up with two players free. That was the problem." Wright-Phillips' display is bound to have caught Capello's attention, while Wayne Bridge also produced a solid performance before Mancini once again reaffirmed his belief the full-back will make himself available for England's friendly against Egypt on March 3 despite the likely presence of John Terry. "Wayne played very well," said Mancini. "He is a good player who can play for the national team and I expect him to do so. "That is what he told me and I think it is important for him." The draw means City must tackle Stoke three times in 11 days, with the replay confirmed for February 24 at the Britannia Stadium. Mancini is facing a real selection headache ahead of the second of those games though as, in addition to Tevez, Craig Bellamy is also out, while Martin Petrov, Stephen Ireland and Wright-Phillips picked up injuries during this evening's encounter which make them doubtful as well. "It is a problem but I hope some of the players recover because we need to prepare properly for a game that is very important if we are going to do well in the league," he said. With a beaming smile, Pulis confirmed that while he did not want a draw, he was happy to accept one knowing a place in the quarter-finals is now a realistic prospect given Stoke's form on home soil. However, Pulis also has his injury problems, with Matthew Etherington taken for a scan on a serious-looking knee injury. "There was nothing in the actual tackle," shrugged Pulis. "His studs got stuck in the ground. The doctor said it might be one where the ligament has just gone over the bone and Matthew might be OK on Tuesday. Fingers crossed." In addition, Liam Lawrence and Andy Wilkinson were forced off either side of the interval with knee and ankle problems respectively. "I thought we performed really well tonight and we will give it our best shot in the replay," Pulis said.

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